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Some churches grant exception to allow Catholics to eat meat on St. Patrick's Day

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Corned beef

MADISON (WKOW) -- St. Patrick's Day falls on a Friday during the Lenten season, meaning choosing something to eat on the holiday could be tricky.

Corned beef is a staple of Irish culture, and something many people enjoy on St. Paddy's Day. But during Lent, Catholics are asked to abstain from eating meat.

Many churches across the country are making an exception this year.

"Once the exception is made, it applies to any meat products," said Father Martin of Holy Name of Jesus Parish, Wausau. "You can't do it every year because then it's not so special, but once in a while, you throw them a bone I guess, so people can have their fun this year."

And the Diocese of Madison is joining them

Bishop Donald J. Hying said he's dispensing with the law of abstinence to honor St. Patrick's Day, but he encourages people to still do some sort of charity work instead.

The National Catholic Survey said more than 70% of bishops around the country are granting the exception. 

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